First-Ever RTI Court, A Distinguished feature of Punjab Information Commission
The present set of Commissioners became functional w.e.f 01.06.2019 and the foremost step taken by Mr. Mahboob Qadir Shah, Chief Information Commission Punjab was to set-up the first ever RTI Court. The Punjab Information Commission (PIC) is vested with powers of Civil Court as such it disposes of complaints (Appeals) in full-fledge environments of a Court of law affording opportunity of hearing to both sides statements on oath, wherever required and affidavits and pass orders in the light of provisions of law (the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013) and the principles of natural justice.
2. PIC takes pride for establishment of first ever RTI Court in Pakistan. The disposal of Complaints (Appeals) in a judicial manner has immensely enhanced the dignity of Commission and has also produced the desired impact on PIOs, senior pubic functionaries summoned before the Court and in some cases disgruntled elements misusing RTI law for effective compliance of the directions and orders. The Judicial proceedings of Commission has elicited strong respect sense of fair-play and even-handedness among the persons appearing before RTI Court.
3. All cases fixed for a particular day are notified to public at large through a cause list up-loaded one day earlier on web-site and a copy is also affixed on the notice board.
4. The parties concerned whose cases are fixed for a particular day are issued summons well in time. But a unique feature of PIC is that parties are personally contacted through telephone calls to remind them the dates of hearings besides forwarding whatsapp copies of summons and the order of Commission.
5. It was the said pro-active way of working that PIC could disposes of all 1600 Complaints (Appeals) filed during the year 2018/19. The Civil Society and RTI Activist have highly appreciated the said way of working of PIC